It’s early in the year but I’m calling it. I just had the best breakfast I’m going to have all year. I wasn’t planning on eating but when I saw it on the menu and asked the waiter to explain, he didn’t even get to finish his sentence before I was ordering it. Last weekend we were driving in a cross-country fashion between Mt Gravatt and West End. We had thoughts of coffee in amongst our errands and as we drove through Tarragindi, I knew we couldn’t be too far away from Billy Kart Kitchen. And it turns out we weren’t.
Billy Kart is owned by chef/patron Ben O’Donoghue. We first discovered Ben via the BBC show, ‘The Best’ where he worked alongside Paul Merret and Silvana Franco to turn out ‘the best’ version of dishes. It was lots of fun and I always hope that it will pop up on one of the secondary channels so I can take a trip down memory lane. Since then there’s been books and further TV shows but in the end, when the reality of endless freezing UK winters loomed, it was laid back Brisbane that wove its spell and lured Ben back to Australia.
But enough of the chit chat. Let’s talk about the best breakfast this year. Aussie Asian Breakfast ($21.50). Two eggs, deep fried and served on top of a pile of bacon with king prawns in a Asian inspired dressing. It’s a umami explosion. The eggs are shirred around the edges from the fast frying with wispy strands of crisped egg white yet the yolk remains soft. The bacon is thick and meaty and clearly from a happy pig and butcher. The prawns are huge. Dressed in a sticky, sweet and salty dressing with a generous sprinkle of chilli, this is perfect hangover food. What a revelation. What a shame I had to share it with Mr Tiffin.
For days after we’ve been talking about this one dish so can only imagine what other surprises await us on future visits. This brilliant breakfast stands alongside a number of more standard options. I spied the Crispy Corn Fritters at the table beside us. No one likes a soggy fritter and these looked much more like an Indian pakora or bahji with lots of crunch as diners tuck in. Sweet options such as Bircher Muesli and Buttermilk Pancakes are on offer as well as just a cup of coffee and pastry if that’s all your after. Anthony has told me not once but twice how chuffed he was to see Ben actually cooking, rather than being just a name over the door.
Billy Kart Kitchen is very Brisbane. On a quiet street in the middle of suburbia, it sits inside an old corner shop. High ceilings. Lots of wood and weatherboards. A wide footpath. Cut flowers for sale as well as displays of the fruit and veg used in cooking, it still has the feel of an old fashioned general store. The original Clifton Hill grocery shop sign hangs at the back. It’s a welcoming space for groups and families with plenty of smaller tables for quiet dining on the shaded footpath.
Enough talking from me though…it’s a breakfast to schedule into your calendar immediately. It is indeed ‘The Best’.
Billy Kart Kitchen
1 Eric Crescent
Annerley Qld 4103